November 5, 2023
Dr. Paul Cannings
Many times, when a preacher brings up sin as a subject, we become defensive, dismissive, or distraught. Because of how we may react to what we may not realize, God/Christ addresses this because He has a passionate desire to have a friendship with us. Allow me to explain before you stop reading.
The question should be, “Why is this issue so important to God that it would cause Him to nail His son to the cross for us.” The purpose of all this taking place was not just about getting us to heaven; folks went to heaven in Abraham’s bosom in the Old Testament. God so passionately wants to have an intimate, meaningful relationship with His children (while sin causes us not to seek Him; Romans 3:10-11); this trait hinders that because His nature is Holy. He also knows that once there is a distance between Him and us, it provides satan the opportunity to drift us so far from Him (who is life) we can experience an early death (Romans 6:23; 1 John 5:16).
When we take a look at the Levitical system in the Old Testament, we see how much people had to do in order to experience a true worshipful relation with God. Because they focused more on the system rather than the passion He has for them, by the end of the Old Testament, God had no relationship with them. Their hearts became so dark they nailed Jesus Christ to the cross. The same can take place if we just do church rather than use our experience in church to grow in Him. He is not bringing up sin to discourage us, our church, or to interrupt our lives. All of this is because He passionately wants His children to experience what He came to regain, which is an intimate friendship that moves us from death to life (John 10:10; 15:1-14).
This is why when Jesus died on the cross, He provided us grace so that we have every possible means to be in fellowship with God through Jesus Christ. Grace was provided because God knows, no matter how much we surrender our lives to Him, we will still sin from time-to-time (1 John 1:8-9). However, His grace was not provided to encourage us to sin because that defeats the purpose (Rom 6:1-2).
Many people in the Bible grasp God’s passionate desire to have a relationship with us. Once they grasped this, people like Rahab, David, Peter, Mary Magdalene, and Paul spent their entire lives focused on experiencing an intimate, loving relationship with God. These people were quick to address their sins because they recognized He was the one continuously seeking them (Romans 7:14-24). Paul became so passionate he pleaded for someone to cut him from this “body of death;” to be delivered from the flesh that influences him to sin (Romans 8:9-17). The issue of sin is more about His desire for a friendship; He gave up His life to regain (John 15:13-15).